Nikon D5300 DSLR Review

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Review posted 1/27/2014

Quick Take
Pros
  • Very good image quality versus other entry-level DSLRs
  • Improved performance speed versus predecessor
  • Anti-aliasing filter removed for clearer images
  • ISO settings up to 25,800 (equivalent)
  • Noise in photos is limited, even at mid- to high-range ISO settings
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS included
  • Stereo microphone for video recording
  • Both JPEG and RAW (NEF) formatting available
  • Sharp and bright 3.2-inch articulated LCD screen
  • Easy to use as a fully automatic camera, but contains plenty of advanced features too
Cons
  • No touchscreen feature with LCD
  • Battery drains quickly when using Live View mode
  • Camera's performance slows considerably in Live View mode
  • Autofocus sharpness is inconsistent when recording video
  • No eye sensor; viewfinder mode doesn't activate automatically when you raise D5300 to your eye
  • Limited to three resolution size options; could use more options, especially for sending photos over Wi-Fi
  • Price is at the high end of entry-level DSLRs
  • Wi-Fi is not as easy to use or as powerful as it could be
Bottom Line
The Nikon D5300 DSLR camera offers a very nice mixture of automatic and manual control shooting features, making this model a good first interchangeable lens camera. It offers fast image processing speeds when working in Viewfinder mode, and the camera's image quality is very good. A large articulated LCD and built-in Wi-Fi add to this camera's appeal. The D5300 has some performance issues when working in Live View mode, and its price is near the top of the entry-level DSLR market, which may limit the number of photographers who will consider this upgrade of the D5200. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
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In late 2013, Nikon announced their latest D-series entry-level DSLR, the D5300. The D5300 is replacing the D5200 and boasts a whole slew of upgrades. This is not just a simple re-badging. The D5300 is the smallest D-series camera to date despite having a new grip that offers more surface area and a better hold than the D5200. The D5300 is also the first Nikon D-series camera to shoot Full HD video at 1080/60p, offer built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, and to include the new EXPEED 4 processor, which improves low-light capabilities, shooting performance, and noise levels.

The D5300 also boasts a newly developed 24.2-megapixel DX-format (APS-C) CMOS image sensor with no OLPF (Optical Low Pass Filter) for greater sharpness and detail when taking advantage of the camera's wide ISO range of 100 - 12,800. The D5300 also features Nikon's Scene Recognition System, which uses a 2,016-pixel RGB metering system to analyze shooting conditions and then adjust exposure, AF, and white balance levels for perfectly balanced photographs.

As the first Nikon DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, users will be able to connect the D5300 to a free app on iOS or Android smartphones. From there, it's easy to email photos or share them on various social networks like Facebook. GPS is great for geo-tagging, which allows social networking sites, mobile phones, and PC picture editors to keep track where you've taken all your photos.

Nikon D5300 Features
  • Newly developed 24.2-megapixel DX-format (APS-C) CMOS image sensor 
    •  no OLPF (Optical Low Pass Filter) 
  • EXPEED 4 image processor
  • 3.2-inch Vari-Angle LCD Display (1,037K dots) 
  • Full HD 1080/60p Video Captures
    • Built-in Stereo 
    • Improved full-time AF 
  • 39-Point AF System
  • 5 Frames-Per-Second Burst Shooting
  • ISO 100-12,800 (expandable to 25,600)
  • Scene Recognition System
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Built-in GPS
  • Two new Special Effects modes
    • Toy Camera
    • HDR Painting
  • New Battery, EN-EL14A, 
    • increased battery life up to 600 shots (the camera can also use the older EN-EL14 battery from previous models)
  • Compatible with NIKKOR lenses and accessories
  • Weighs only 16.9 oz

The Nikon D5300 is available in black, red, and gray. The $1,399.95 kit will include (1) D5300 body and (1) AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom lens. Click our Buy button to see the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • D5300 camera body
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom lens (if purchased as a kit)
  • EN-EL14a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • MH-24 Quick Charger
  • DK-25 Rubber Eyecup
  • EG-CP16 Audio Video Cable
  • AN-DC3 Strap
  • DK-5 Eyepiece Cap
  • BF-1B Body Cap
  • BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cap
  • ViewNX 2

Additional Product Views
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Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

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